While this lowly member of the cruciferous family does not get the same attention as its cousins, broccoli and cauliflower, the health benefits of eating this leafy green vegetables abound and it was used for its medicinal properties by people as diverse as the early Greeks, and the ancient Egyptians and British soldiers during World War I. It is the subject of further nutritional study today and more and more evidence is emerging about the conditions which cabbage in useful in treating, including those listed below.
Cabbage, being a crucifer, is a rich source of phytonutrients, plant-based compounds such as polyphenols and glucosinolates which have known cancer-fighting properties. This is partly because these compounds have strong anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties than reduce the inflammation and oxidative damage in the cells that can eventually lead to cancer development.
This lowly vegetables is also a great tool for losing unwanted pounds and keeping them off as well. This is because it is low in calories but high in fiber, so the dieter feels fuller for longer and there is less of a chance of overeating due to hunger. It is also useful for dieters because of its versatility: it can be easily added to variety of soups, stews, salads and casseroles so that even if eaten frequently, it will not feel repetitive or boring. Reducing weight helps reduce the chance of both diabetes and cancer development.
The most obvious way in which cabbage fights diabetes is that is helps people lose weight (see above), since obesity is a major risk factor for the development of this disease. However, cabbage goes far beyond this, also helping diabetics to control and regulate their blood sugars to keep them in a safe range and is also good for restoring and maintaining renal health, which can be a real challenge for diabetic patients.
The main reason that cabbage is so good for the digestive system is that it is high in fiber, which can improve the whole digestive process and make the body more efficient at both breaking down food and eliminating waste. It also contains compounds which have found to strengthen the muscles of the stomach which can help prevent problems like GERD and is a great remedy for this. This ties in to both cancer and diabetes, since an efficient digestive system can help both disease processes.
Cancer and diabetes both remain among the top ten causes of death for Americans, and often the reason for this is a lifetime of poor eating habits combined with a sedentary life and exposure to pollution in the air and water and from the soil where many foods are grown. Dietary changes, such as adding more cabbage and other healthful vegetable and fruits to the meal, can greatly reduce the risk of developing these diseases and can be better for overall health and well-being.